The headline in the paper this morning is "Pressure Rises Over Executions." The accompanying article reminds us that Texas continues to head the list as "death-penalty leader."
I find it interesting that most of the world -- other than Muslim nations and the US -- no longer practice capital punishment. I used to be a proponent of it. And I could argue it from Scripture, too. Maybe I'm just getting soft in my older age, but I just don't see that it accomplishes much. It doesn't seem to be a deterent to crime. I'm beginning to wonder if its main purpose is to give us some kind of feeling of revenge: "He got what he deserved." If that is the best case we can offer, it certainly is not Christlike.
"What about the victims and their families?" someone might say. And I feel that same emotion. But taking the life of the murderer does not bring any satisfaction. Yes, put the murderer away for life. But I just don't feel so comfortable taking a life.
I'm not on a crusade here. I'm still not even sure I am opposed to capital punishment. But I am certainly leaning more away from it. And I am much more sympathetic to those opposed to it than I once was. Yes, I could still make a Scriptural argument for it. But as I am more and more being drawn to Christlikeness, I am also more inclined to extend mercy and grace.